Illinois Among Top States For Businesses: Ranking

Illinois Among Top States For Businesses: Ranking


ACROSS ILLINOIS — If you ever thought about starting a business in Illinois, a new ranking says you might be in the right place.

CNBC this week released its annual ranking of top states for business, which looks at how well Illinois and other states are doing in attracting and fostering business ownership and operations.

Illinois ranked among the best, coming in at 15 out of 50 states.

To rank this year’s top states for business, CNBC scored all 50 states on 85 different metrics in 10 categories. Categories ranged from access to capital to the cost of doing business to cost of living.

This year, CNBC added a new category for life, health and inclusion, which replaced quality of life in order to include new metrics on every state’s battle against COVID-19, health care in general, and the corporate push for inclusiveness.

Each category was assigned a weight based on how hard states are pushing it in their economic development marketing. CNBC determined that by analyzing every state’s economic development website. If, for example, more states are pitching their low business costs, Cost of Doing Business carries more possible points.

In the end, states could earn a maximum of 2,500 points across the 10 categories. The states with the most points are America’s top states for business.

Illinois scored first place for potential infrastructure for new businesses, augmented by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest push for his Rebuild Illinois program, but it ranked almost dead last in economics, an unsurprising figure given the state’s rocky, but improving, credit history.

Read more about CNBC’s methodology to determine 2021’s top states for business.

Illinois received scores in all 10 categories. Here’s how our state fared in each one:

Cost of doing business


Life, health and inclusion



Business friendliness

Access to capital

Technology and innovation


Cost of living

For the second consecutive year, Virginia earned the distinction of the top U.S. state for business, propelled by its strong workforce and solid education system. Virginia has captured top honors five times — more than any other state — and is the first state to notch back-to-back wins.

Rounding out the top five states are North Carolina, Utah, Texas and Tennessee, respectively.

Maryland was this year’s most improved state, while Oregon posted the biggest decline. Alaska finished last.

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